Local arts collective hits the “trail” for its 16th season

Art Trail members gathered at 2gallery in Picton last week to launch the 16th season of the Prince Edward County Arts Trail. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette staff)




The Prince Edward County Arts Trail and its member studios and galleries joined to celebrate the launch of their 16th season last week.

A new bilingual Arts Trail Collector’s Guide and Map, redesigned English and French websites and a host of new and returning strategic partners were all part of the launch.

The self-guided physical tour throughout The County connects art lovers, buyers and collectors with professional creators and curators in unique, single-artist studios and contemporary, multi-artist galleries. Or, art lovers can visit the bilingual website and connect to all of the members individual websites to view thousands of incredible works of art from home.

Visitors- both virtual and in person- canDiscover inspiring works in a range of price points and media, including sculpture, paintings, photography, woodwork, prints, drawing, mixed media, furniture, glass, fabric, ceramics and more.

In addition, Arts Trail locations host openings, lectures, demonstrations, events, workshops, concerts, and other artistic offerings throughout the year.

“Operating under the auspices of the Prince Edward County Arts Council since 2019, the Arts Trail has grown to become a year-round, must-do signature experience for tens of thousands of visitors to this beautiful creative island community,” said Janna Smith, Executive Director of the Prince Edward County Arts Council. “We’re thrilled to work alongside the Arts Trail’s professional artist and gallery members to support the program and expand opportunities for members.”

The printed Arts Trail Collector’s Guide is a key planning tool for visitors. Designed by The Vaughan Group, the new bilingual 24-page guide features a map of Arts Trail locations plus full-page bilingual listings with contact information, descriptions and photographs of the artists, artwork, studio and gallery spaces that one can expect to find at each participating location.

“The Arts Trail is an important program that helps support and grow professional artists and arts businesses in Prince Edward County and contributes to the overall cultural fabric of the community,” Tara Wilkinson, Chair of the PEC Arts Trail, and co-owner of ANDARA Gallery said. “Our member studios and galleries offer visitors beautiful works of art in inspiring settings.”

The 2023-24 Arts Trail Collector’s Guide cover features the painting “Bubble Bubble” by artist Claire Desjardins and is represented by 2gallery.

Desjardins said she is inspired by the patterns she sees around her in nature, such as lily pads on her pond.

“Nature is the best designer of us all,” said Desjardins. “When I paint pieces for the Effervescence series, it’s a contemplative experience for me. I carefully paint each circle drop by drop, layer by layer. Doing so brings me to a place of tranquility: I can literally feel my heart rate and breathing slow down. Creating these pieces is a form of mental yoga for me.”

The cover painting and more of Desjardins’s work can be seen at 2gallery, a member of the Arts Trail since opening in 2019.

Visitors can plan their visit along the PEC Arts Trail by downloading the new Arts Trail Collector’s Guide and Map from the English or French websites, or pick up a copy of the Guide throughout The County at all Arts Trail member locations, the County’s information kiosks, wineries, libraries and other major points of interest.

For more information please visit their website at https://www.artstrail.ca/ or follow PEC Arts Trail on social medias: Facebook (pecartstrail) and Instagram (@pecartstrail)